As such, I was prompted to send Tobold an email privately when I read his recent entry about stopping Syncaine from slandering him all over the internet.
To his credit, he declined my suggestion citing that while he appreciated my "PvP Approach", the "personal attack stuff just isn't my style." And honestly, that more than anything else really illustrates the point that this blog war is one-sided.
Here is my email to Tobold in it's entirety:
"There is an old saying that says if you want all the people in the prison yard to respect your prowess, find the biggest guy in the yard and kick the crap out of him.
In this scenario, unfortunately, you are the biggest guy in the yard.
I have an unorthodox suggestion about dealing with Syncaine that I didn’t want to post in your comments. I’m a regular reader of both your blogs and I can tell you that he is hardly immune to all of the things YOU feel when he attacks you. Like most prominent internet figures, he takes his reputation seriously and doesn’t like when his credibility or opinions are undermined.
As I see it, you need to mostly continue to publicly ignore him. It bothers him that you have publicly declared you don’t read his blog, which is what prompted his apology (or truce) in January.
You can’t ignore him, but you can keep yourself from responding.
Secondly, I think you need to fight back. To defend yourself and to discredit him. And that means attacking him back in a very un-Tobold like way. So I would make one more Syncaine post, in which you do three things, a) state this is the last time Syncaine will be referenced on your blog (and stick to it), b) make a bunch of slanderous ad hominem and hurtful attacks (very aggressive, very un-Tobold like), and c) make a point of saying that these wars have always been one-sided BY CHOICE and this post is intended as an imitation of Syncaine’s style as an example of how you COULD have been responding to Syncaine in any real blog war.
If the attacks are done well enough, I think it will get the point across that this has never been a two-sided fight, but a one-sided shouting match.
Alternately, you could also attack him as someone OTHER than Tobold. You joked about creating a separate persona as Gevlon, but I think you DO need a separate persona if only to go on the offensive without creating the sensational ‘blog war’ drama that draws all the interest.
Now, the nice thing is that given the prominence of your existing blog, you can promote the other persona. And maybe, occasionally, set aside your stance to ignore Syncaine to comment publicly on the Tobold blog about something the evil persona wrote about Syncaine. I think that’s the real key because you could quote the persona, but denounce the ‘tone’ of the attack. Perhaps even comment about how this is exactly the type of thing you despise about the ad hominem attacks he makes at you.
It means attacking HIS credibility, HIS interests, HIS game, HIS financial stake in Darkfall, and most of all -- HIS faulty logic (of which there is plenty). Note that I'm not talking about the intellectual debates you've tried to engage with him in the past. I'm talking about using the same ad hominem attacks he uses against you to derail him.
And likewise, if he DOES post something hurtful on his blog, then you can respond to it under that other persona. I can’t say that any of this will make it go away, but it does give you a platform to at least respond and defend yourself without giving him what he wants (the traffic of a blog war)."
So why would I suggest such a Machiavellian approach? Because I think it's important to point out that the two players in this war aren't both fighting a war. I want him to fight back.
Or as I wrote on Syncaine's blog in the comments:
"The issue is that it gets promoted as a blog war when it’s really a one-sided shouting match.
On the one side, you have a very prominent blogging pundit commenting about the nature of MMOs.
On the other side, you have a rabid fanboi defending his turf.
The pundit doesn’t want to argue with the fanboi, but the fanboi won’t shut up.
In fairness, the fanboi wasn’t always a fanboi and was once disguised as a pundit himself. But something happened (WoW didn’t die?) and the pundit became consumed with fury.
At least… that’s how I read both blogs. "